Verse > Anthologies > Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, ed. > Poems of Places > America
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Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, ed.  Poems of Places: An Anthology in 31 Volumes.
America: Vols. XXV–XXIX.  1876–79.
 
Introductory to Middle States
New Jersey
Henry Morford (1823–1881)
 
The Brown-eyed Girls of Jersey

BEFORE my bark the waves have curled
As it bore me thrice around the world;
And for forty years have met my eyes
The beauties born under wide-spread skies.
But though far and long may be my track,        5
It is never too far for looking back;
And I see them,—see them, over the sea,
As I saw them when youth still dwelt with me,—
        The brown-eyed girls of Jersey!
 
They are Quakers, half,—half maids of Spain;        10
Half Yankees, with fiery Southern brain;
They are English, French,—they are Irish elves;
They are better than all, in being themselves!
They are coaxing things,—then wild and coy;
They are full of tears,—full of mirth and joy.        15
They madden the brain, like rich old wine:
And no wonder at all if they ’ve maddened mine,—
        Those brown-eyed girls of Jersey!
 
Some day, when distant enough my track,
To the Land of the Free I shall wander back;        20
And if not too gray, both heart and hair,
To win the regard of a thing so fair,—
I shall try the power of the blarney-stone
In making some darling girl my own,—
Some darling girl, that still may be        25
Keeping all her beauty and grace for me,—
        Some brown-eyed girl of Jersey!
 
 
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